Interview With Serge Proshe
Serge Proshe is a Ukrainian DJ/Producer who lives in Bali and hosts his legendary MANTRAPEOPLE events every month, popular due to their atmosphere and musical taste. We spoke to him recently to discuss his MANTRA brand, his life over in Bali, and what he has coming up in the future…
Hey Serge, what’s good and bad in your world at the moment?
Selamat siang! Greetings to you and your readers. I’ve been enjoying life in Bali for the past four years, on the other hand, I feel great pain from what is happening in my homeland.
You are from Ukraine but currently based in Bali, what does that mean in terms of the sounds you make and play?
The atmosphere of the island, its spirituality, and its beauty inspired me to write an album and several releases using authentic Ukrainian songs. The result was an experimental format in which old Ukrainian lullabies were intertwined with modern electronic sound. I’m happy that this music has found its audience in Bali and the world.
How do you play like in the winter vs summer? Do you like both the same?
Both seasons are beautiful here; in winter many guests come from Europe, and in summer from Australia and Asia. So in January, you can dance in Ubud enjoying the tropical downpour, and in August you can watch the most beautiful sunsets accompanied by music somewhere in Uluwatu or Canggu.
What was the highlight of your summer?
First performance in Australia at the Solouk event. It was amazing, wonderful people, great atmosphere.
When did you last head home to Ukraine? What do you miss most about it?
My family and I went on an annual holiday to Asia in November 2019, and then the pandemic hit and we were locked down in Bali. Then the War happened, and so we weren’t home for almost four years. I love my hometown Kyiv very much, I consider it the most beautiful city on earth. We really miss walks along it with our dog, the beautiful architecture, the delicious food, and of course our families and friends.
And what’s the best bit about living in Bali?
Bali is beautiful because of its culture – thousands of temples, hundreds of religious holidays, and beautiful rituals, all this makes it a very spiritual and unique place. The Balinese are kind and pleasant people. Nature is mesmerizing, it has everything: volcanoes, waterfalls, rice fields, rain forests, the Indian Ocean on one side, and the Pacific on the other. The climate is comfortable, there is no strong rainy season like in Thailand, this allows clubs and parties to work well almost all year round. Paradise for Hedonists.
Tell us about your mantrapeople events – whats the musical vibe?
The term Mantrapeople itself was born back in 2010 in my club in Kyiv, which was called Mantra. That’s what we called ourselves and all our guests. Once in Bali, we began to hold our own parties under this name, and they began to gather a large number of bright people who love beautiful electronic music. Our style is a mixture of organic, melodic techno, and indie, with a rich range of ethnic vocals and melodies.
Why did you want to start your own party in the first place?
We were running our music streaming show on YouTube called Love Stream to support people who stock at home at Corona Time and the local people of Bali. At that moment, the Savaya Сlub was preparing to open and they saw our project and offered to launch a monthly series of our events. So at the end of 2020, we held our first Mantrapeople, and for almost two more years we resided there, after we moved to Kabana Ubud for a year, and now we moved our events on the largest yacht on the island for the new experience.
What inspires you when producing? What are your aims in the studio?
Сontinue to be inspired by Ukrainian folklore and the rich vocal tradition. I also plan to add notes of psychedelic sound to the upcoming releases; interesting experiments are obtained at the intersection of indie melodic techno and psy.
What does the rest of 2023 hold for Serge Proshe? What can we look forward to from you?
By the end of the year, our team and I are preparing to launch the MANTRAPEOPLE label. We also plan to hold several large events at new locations on the island, the first in November. So everyone is welcome to Bali!